Coming Apart Like a Cheap Suit

In the End, Will His Main Legacy Be Gold Plumbing Fixtures?

I fear that, in our country’s history, the Trump administration will in the end be like a persistent skid mark on one’s underwear. The disintegration seems to be accelerating, as our President is being assailed on all sides—except by his die-hard fans in flyover country. The incompetence almost seems to be spreading, like the Nothing in the movie The Neverending Story (1984). In that film, the Nothing is described as “a manifestation of the loss of hopes and dreams.” That is a very good description of the way I feel as the 2020 election approaches.

Since his inauguration in January 2017, Trump has become the anti-President, whose main goal was the dismantling of the apparatus of government—especially those benefits that seemed to benefit voters in any way. His rule has benefited only those multi-millionaires, who, like him, are against paying any taxes at all.

The political parties gearing up for 2020 are like, to use a witticism by Jorge Luis Borges, two bald men fighting over a comb.

 

The Way Forward

It’s Time to Plan Ahead for a Presidency Without Trumpf

Now that the Mueller Report is out, and our Presidente has apparently dodged yet another bullet—for now. I discuss here, in brief, my attempt at a pragmatic look at the way forward.

Impeachment and Conviction

Any concerted effort to impeach Trumpf at this point will lead to wasted effort. Two U.S. presidents so far have been impeached: Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. According to the Constitution, the House of Representatives is charged with impeaching a president for “high crimes and misdemeanors.” But to remove a president, it is the Senate that decides whether the president is guilty. Moreover, a two-thirds majority of the Senate must vote for conviction. Article I Section 3 of the Constitution says: “The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.”

When (and if) the vote is for conviction, the president is out of a job and may possibly be sentenced to a jail term.

There is no doubt that Trumpf could be impeached by the Democratic House, but there are nowhere near enough votes in the Senate to convict. The result: The business of this country is held for ransom while a political battle royal ensues. Probable outcome: Trumpf emerges triumphant from this “witch hunt.”

The Election of 2020

The best way of getting rid of Trumpf is to vote him out of office in 2020. He knows that, and that is why he has been trying hard to stroke the egos of ignorant voters in small states, most of whom remain solidly in his camp.

For the Democrats to win, two things must happen:

  • Instead of the usual circular firing squad, the Dems must come together behind an attractive candidate, of which there are currently several possibilities. In the months to come, we shall see who survives.
  • Democrats must engage with the enemy. That involves interviews on Fox News, visiting Red States, and in general going beyond the bubble. That’s why Hillary lost in 2016.

The Electoral College

The United States is no longer a sparsely populated agrarian nation. Of course it is manifestly unfair. The Huffington Post expresses the situation well:

But the biggest vice of the Electoral College is its blatant unfairness to voters in the bigger states. As a resident of the largest state, California, I look at the residents of the smallest state, Wyoming, with particular envy during election season. Each vote cast in Wyoming is worth 3.6 as much as the same vote cast in California. How can that be, you might ask? It’s easy to see, when you do the math. Although Wyoming had a population in the last census of only 563,767, it gets 3 votes in the Electoral College based on its two Senators and one Congressman. California has 55 electoral votes. That sounds like a lot more, but it isn’t when you consider the size of the state. The population of California in the last census was 37,254,503, and that means that the electoral votes per capita in California are a lot less. To put it another way, the three electors in Wyoming represent an average of 187,923 residents each. The 55 electors in California represent an average of 677,355 each, and that’s a disparity of 3.6 to 1.

How do we change that? It is not likely that we can do anything about it. Here is Article V of the Constitution in its entirety:

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

I do not think that, as presently constituted, the House of Representatives and Senate could produce a two-thirds majority to say that water flows downhill, let alone amend the Constitution. And as for a three-fourths majority of the State Legislatures—Fuggedaboutit!

 

Rope-a-Dope

There’s No Hope Here!

I strongly suspect that, sometime in the next few months, the Trumpf presidency will be terminated. Either he will be impeached or found incompetent or, if they take my suggestion, dropped at high altitude from a helicopter with a leaky container of blood into a part of the ocean full of sharks. There have been bad presidents before, but there never has been a worse one.

The only complication is that Trumpf is adding to the possible charges against him at the rate of three or four a day. What will he have to do to trigger the inevitable? Will he have to rape a nun or slug an autistic child or make Ivanka his new vice president? Will he have to form a pact with North Korea to help them with their nuclear program? I am losing count. This man is not only dangerous: He is very busy f*cking up big time.